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Partner visas are designed for those who are a spouse or in a de facto relationship with an Australia citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. If you are onshore in Australia, you are eligible for partner visa subclass 820/801, but if you are in other countries and want to migrate to Australia under a partner visa, you must apply for subclass 309/100.  

Subclass 309 is the temporary visa, but getting this visa is the first step towards the permanent visa subclass 100. Your application will be processed in two stages – visa subclass 309 will be granted first and you need to apply for visa 100 separately again after 2 years from the date of visa 309 application.  

What are the benefits of a partner visa?  

You must be outside of Australia when lodging the partner visa 309. Once this visa subclass is granted, you will be able to arrive in Australia and enjoy the below benefits: 

  • Live and work in Australia while your partner visa – subclass 100 is processed.  
  • Study in Australia with international students’ fees.  
  • Enrol in Medicare, Australia’s scheme for health-related care and expenses. 
  • Travel to and from Australia as many times as you wish while holding this visa.  
  • Attend free English language classes provided by the Adult Migrant English Program if you and/or your dependents do not have sufficient English skills to live in Australia. 

When your permanent partner visa subclass 100 is granted, you will receive the full benefits of an Australian permanent resident, which includes but not limited to: 

  • Stay in Australia indefinitely  
  • Study with domestic student fees  
  • Work and run businesses in Australia   
  • Receive social security benefits through Centrelink (e.g., family tax benefit, job seeker, job keeper payment and childcare subsidy), you can need to wait up to 1 year to receive these benefits.  
  • Receive community health care program (Medicare)  
  • Get first homeowner grant when buying your first home  
  • Your dependents under 18 years of age have a right to study in public schools free of charge  
  • Sponsor family members to Australia if eligible  
  • Apply for Australian citizenship if eligible  
  • Travel from and to Australia in 5 years. After 5 years, you can renew your travel authority by applying for a Resident Return visa if you satisfy the residency requirement. 

Who can apply for a Partner Visa?  

A Partner Visa allows the spouse (husband or wife) or De Facto partner of an Australian citizen, a Permanent Resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen to obtain a visa so that they can live together in Australia. 

Are you eligible for a partner visa subclass 309? 

You must meet all the following requirements to be eligible for a partner visa 309/100.   

  • Location: You must be outside of Australia when you lodge the partner visa 309/100.  
  • Sponsor: You must have a sponsor and our spouse/de facto partner should apply for a sponsorship at the same time when you lodge your application.   
  • Age: You and your partner must be over 18 years old. 
  • Visa history: You might not be eligible for this visa if you have had a visa cancelled or refused while you were in Australia 
  • Relationship requirement 
    • You must prove that your relationship is genuine and continuing, and that you two are living together. You can be apart from your partner, but temporarily only.  
    • For the de facto relationship, you and your partner must be in the relationship for at least 12 months immediately before the time you apply for the partner visa. It is noted that the dating time might not count as being in the de facto relationship.  
    • However, the 12 months of cohabitation period can be exempted if  
      • You can show the compelling and compassionate situations that you really need a 309 visa to be granted. 
      • You have registered your de facto relationship with an Australia authority (such as a registry of births, deaths and marriages) 
      • Your de facto relationship holds or held a permanent humanitarian visa, AND your relationship existed before the 309 visa is granted, AND your partner informed the Department of Home Affair about your relationship before the visa is granted.  
  • Health requirements: You and secondary applicants (if any) need to pass a health examination conducted in one of medical centres approved by Department of Home Affairs. Your family members who do not accompany you to Australia also need to meet the health requirements.   
  • Character requirements – You and secondary applicants (if any) need to have a positive police check/s in the countries where you lived for totally 1 year and over in the past 10 years.   
  • Debt – You must not have any debt to the Australian Government. 

Are you eligible for a partner permanent visa – subclass 100? 

To be eligible for a 100 visa, you must:  

  • Hold a temporary offshore partner visa 309  
  • Remain the marriage or de facto relationship except for some special circumstances 
  • Must obey all Australia laws and conditions of 309 visa 

Who can sponsor for a partner visa subclass 309/100?  

To apply for offshore partner visa 309/100, you must have a sponsoring partner.  

  • The sponsor must be an Australian Permanent Resident, Australian citizen, or eligible New Zealand citizen.  
  • The sponsor can only sponsor 2 spouses or de facto partners in his/her lifetime and can only sponsor 1 spouse or de facto partner within 5 years unless in an exceptional circumstance. 
  • The sponsor cannot hold a spouse visa sponsored by another person in the past 5 years.  
  • The sponsor cannot be convicted of or have had to pay a fine for hurting a child. 
  • The sponsor needs to pass the character test. 

How can you prove the relationship with your partner?

The relationship with your partner is one of the most important parts that case officer will rely on to see if you should be granted with a partner visa. To demonstrate your relationship is genuine, continuing and mutual, you must provide the following evidence:  

Relationship history 

You need to write a statement that includes all key milestones of your relationship, such as: 

  • how, when and where you first met 
  • how the relationship developed 
  • when you moved in together, got engaged or married 
  • what you do together 
  • time you spent apart 
  • significant events in the relationship and 
  • your plans for the future. 

Together with this writing, you must submit a legal document to prove your relationship with your partner, which is either your marriage certificate or registered de facto relationship document.  


You must submit: 

  • joint mortgage or lease documents 
  • joint loan documents for major assets like homes, cars or major appliances 
  • joint bank account statements 
  • household bills in both names 

You also need to write a statement to clarify how you and your partner share responsibilities for financial aspects.  

Nature of Household  

You must submit: 

  • a statement about how you share housework 
  • household bills in both names 
  • mail or emails addressed to you both 
  • documents that show joint responsibility for children 
  • documents that prove your living arrangements 

Like other relationship aspects, you must provide a statement to demonstrate that you and your partner have been sharing all household matters.  

Social matters 

You must submit: 

  • joint invitations or evidence you go out together 
  • proof you have friends in common 
  • proof you have told the government, public or commercial bodies about your relationship 
  • proof you do joint sporting, cultural or social activities together 
  • proof you travel together 

In the application form, you are required to write a statement to explain how you and your partner join social activities together. 


You must submit:  

  • proof you have knowledge of each other’s background, family situation or other personal details 
  • proof you have combined your personal matters 
  • the terms of your wills 
  • proof you stay in touch when apart 

You are also required to submit a statement to clarify that you and your partner deeply understand each other, pursue the same goals of life, and always stay in touch when apart. 

How to apply for a Partner Visa subclass 309/100?  

The process of applying a partner visa involves in both your and your partner’s responsibility.  

Step 1: Your partner applies for a sponsorship 

Your partner needs to apply for a sponsorship online, and the process of this step is very simply. All the documents that must be submitted are:  

  • Your partner’s identity documents (her/his passport, birth certificate and a passport sized photo of his/her face) to prove he/she is an Australian citizen/PR or New Zealand citizen. 
  • Character documents (police certificates for every country where your partner spent for 1 year or more) 

Step 2: You apply for a Offshore Temporary Partner Visa – 309  

There are two processing stages for a partner visa application. The first stage is to apply for a Temporary Partner Visa – Subclass 309.  

You need to create an online account on Fill in all compulsory information and attach your ID, your police checks and all required documents mentioned in the section “How can you prove the relationship with your partner?.”  

Case officer starts processing your application only when the visa fee is paid.  

Step 3: You wait for a Permanent Partner Visa – 100 

Once your visa 309 is granted, you can lodge the Permanent Partner Visa100 after 2 years  from the date you submit the 309 visa. All you need to do is you must stay married/in the relationship for at least two years when your visa 100 is being processed. You are required to submit extra documents  with 100 visa application. 

How much does it cost to apply for a Partner Visa?  

Visa Subclass   Base application charge  Additional applicant charge – 18 and over   Additional applicant charge – under 18  
Partner visa 309   AUD8,850 AUD4,430 AUD2,215


Visa Subclass   Base application charge  Additional applicant charge – 18 and over   Additional applicant charge – under 18  
Partner visa 100    0 0 0


What is the processing time of a partner visa?

The processing time is based on a case-by-case basis, but the case officers need up to 10 months to process 25% of applications, 14 months to complete 50% of applications, and up to 38 months to assess 90% of applications.  

Can I visit my partner in Australia while the visa 309 is being processed?

Yes – since the processing time for a 309 visa is long, you can apply for a visitor visa to visit your partner for a short period, normally 3 months. However, you should bear in mind that you must be outside of Australia when the visa 309 is lodged and when it is granted. In this case, you should always keep your contact details updated with the Department of Home Affair via Immiaccount 

What happens if my relationship breaks down while waiting for a partner visa 100?

If your relationship ends within two years of visa lodgement, you are required to notify the Department of Home Affairs of this change. You may be still granted with a permanent visa if (1) you are holding the 309 visa and you already came to Australia under this visa, AND (2) you are under the following circumstances:  

  • You are a victim of a domestic violence, or 
  • You and your partner have a dependent child who is dependent on your care and support, or. 
  • You partner passed away. 

If the above situations do not apply to you, you will have 2 options – you can apply for a new visa to stay further in Australia or you must arrange a travel plan to leave Australia.  

Can I include my children with ex-partner in my partner visa 309?

You can include your children as a secondary applicant when you lodge the visa application. However, after the visa 309 is granted, you are not able to add your children to your application. In this case, you must apply for a dependent child visa – subclass 445, and once the 445 visa is issued, you can add your children to your permanent partner visa application.  

Is a 309-visa holder eligible for Centrelink benefits?

As 309 is a temporary visa subclass, you may be eligible for a limited number of subsidies from Centrelink only. You can’t apply for Job Keeper and Job Seeker payments, but may be eligible for   Family Tax Benefit, Parental Leave Pay, Dad and Partner Pay and Low-Income Health Care Card.   

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